Free Resources

Curated by Dan Handley
W: Windows, M: Mac, L: Linux, F: Flatpak, O: Online


  • Story Architect (STARC) [W, M, L, F] – For different types of writing, including screenplays. Generates cover pages and allows character, location, and world descriptions
  • Scrite [W, M, L] – Allows index cards for structure, graphs for  organization, and multiple language capabilities
  • Trelby [W, L] – A trusted standard for many years.


Production Management:

  • Producer [O] – NAB Product of the Year 2023. Handles pre-production and production including mood boards, shot notes, call sheets, and much more.

Live Broadcast:

  • OBS Studio [W, M, L, F] – Fairly full featured live broadcast studio software.

Motion Capture:

  • Rokoko [O] – Highly respected motion capture company. Single camera capture is free. Paid upgrades to dual camera capture.
  • The FreeMoCap Project [W, M, L] – Aims to be a full featured mocap software for free. Currently in pre-alpha, but still very usable.
  • Movmi [O] – Supports scenes with multiple people.

2D Animation:

  • OpenToonz [W, M, L, F] – Popular animation tool. Open source version of software used by Studio Ghibli.
  • Synfig Studio [W, M, L, F] – Vector-based animations. Can use skeleton rigs.
  • Pencil2D [W, M, L, F] – Handles both raster and vector animation.
  • Enve [W, L, F] – Handles both raster and vector animation.

3D Animation:

2D Image Creation/Manipulation:

  • GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) [W, M, L, F] – Widely used Photoshop replacement.
  • Inkscape [W, M, L, F] – Vector image editor.
  • Scribus [W, M, L, F] – Desktop publishing. Usable for custom on screen materials or promotional.

Non-Linear Editor (NLE):

  • DaVinci Resolve [W, M, L] – Originally for color correction and grading, now a highly powerful editor. Heavily relies on nodes.
  • KDenLive [W, M, L, F] – Powerful open source editor.
  • OpenShot [W, M, L, F] – Somewhat powerful, but also known for ease of use.
  • Lightworks [W, M] – A powerful industry standard. Free version output resolution up to 720p with YouTube level compression.
  • Capcut[W, M] – Simple to use general editor with a lot of useful tools.

Visual Effects (VFX):

Sound/Digital Audio Workstations (DAW):

File Export And Conversion:

  • DCP-o-Matic [W, M, L] – Free and open source converter for video, audio, and subtitles into the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format.
  • Handbrake [W, M, L, F] – Converts most media input sources, including DVD and Blu-Ray, into a variety of digital video formats.
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